Sciacca is a small port town in the province Agrigenta of Sicily. Sciacca is a popular tourist destination. In the historic city centre, a large part of the 16th-century ramparts with three almost completely intact city gates still exist. You will find the largest concentration of historic buildings throughout the region.
Rich religious traditions are maintained, such as religious processions and the old carnival. Sciacca is a spa by the presence of thermal baths. Sciacca has a fishing port and a marina. On either side of the city are main beaches.
In the east of the city lies the Sican settlement, this settlement is called Figuli settlement. The Sciacca area has been settled very early. Even the Romans knew of the healing springs.
Under the rule of the Arabs and the Normans, the city grew. Among the Arabs the current structure of the old town was built. At that time, the city walls and the castle were built.
In 1330 the town walls and castle were restored under Frederick II of Aragon. In the 16th New century churches and monasteries were built. After this time, as a result of the feud (Caso di Sciacca) between the Perollo family and the Count of Luna, which lasted nearly 70 years, the city declined.
After the Second World War, today's thermal plants were built.
There is no international airport in the province. Sciacca is about 120 km away from two main airports:
- Palermo (Punta Raisi Airport), ☏ . PMO IATA
- [dead link] Trapani (Vincenzo Florio Airport), ☏ . TPS IATA
Although Sciacca has a port, there are no ferry companies that service connections to other port cities.
You can easily go around by foot or taxi.
Quartiere di San Michele
You can find beautiful churches in the upper part of the town, reachable through the old city gate Porta San Calogero. One of the most important is Chiese di Santa Maria dell'Itria which was built in 1380. The church has a beautiful gate with carved floral decoration. The nave of the church is decorated with pure gold. In this area you will also find remains of the monumental castle Castello dei Luna. The castle was built at the end of the 14th century and renovated in the 16th century, but almost completely destroyed in the 19th century. Only the outer walls and an impressive tower survived the devastation. Quartiere di San Michele is an Arab Kasbah connected with stairs and alleys with the Old Town.
- 1 Santa Margherita. This church dates from the 13th century. The facade has a door in Gothic-Catalan style. Another beautiful door is on the left and has a Gothic-Renaissance style. St. Margherita and the Dragon are shown in the tympanum. The church has a large organ from the 19th century.
- 2 Chiesa del Carmine. The church has a beautiful framework from the 13th century and a special dome of the 19th century. The ship has two aisles decorated with frescoes and many works of art including paintings by Blasco from the 17th century and a beautiful wooden statue of St. Vito.
- San Michele. This church is from 1370 and was restored in the 17th century. It has a sleek facade and a beautiful baroque door. Inside, the aisles of the nave are decorated with frescoes. There is a baptismal font from 1581 and a painting by Girolamo from the 15th century.
- 3 Duomo. The cathedral of Sciacca is of Norman origin. Today, from the original building only the outer walls of the three apses can still be seen. The church was rebuilt in the 17th century. The nave is decorated with frescoes of the Apocalypse and events from the life of Mary Magdalene.
- San Nicolò Latina. This Norman church was built between 1100 and 1136. The church has been restored but retains its original features. The facade is simple with a nice port. The church consists of a single nave with a wooden ceiling. There are three niches with stone altars.
- 4 Palazzo Steripinto. The Palazzo Steripinto is one of the most important buildings in Sciacca. It looks a bit like a fortress because of its square shape and tilt. The windows have small columns that adorn the facade and an engraved coat of arms of the family Noceto who was responsible for the construction of the palace in 1501. Later the palace was owned by the noble Lucchesis family whose coat of arms is engraved in the gateway.
- Palazzo Tagliavia. The Palazzo Tagliavia in the centre of Sciacca was built in the 19th century in a neo-Gothic style. This palace has a façade with three doors and pointed arches. It has a remarkable gothic light window above the main entrance.
- Torre di Pardo. This is a tower house of three storeys. On the wall hangs a beautifully decorated balcony
- Castello Incantato, Via E. Ghezzi, Contrada Sovareto. From April until September Tu-Su 10:00-12:00 and 16:00-20:00. From October until March 09:00-13:00 and 15:00-17:00. 3000 heads of stone and wood of the artist Filippo Bentivegna (1888-1967)
- Casa Museo Francesco Scaglione, Piazza Don Minzoni, 4, ☏ . M 09:00-13:00, Tu Th F 15:00-19:00. Archaeological exhibition, paintings and sculptures Free.
- The Antiquarium of Monte Kronio, Monte Kronio (Krone), ☏ . Every day (except public holidays) from 09:00 to 14:00 and 14:30 to 20:00; Monday from 16:00 to 20:00 and Sunday from 09:00 to 13:00. Free.
- A city walk - At the tourist office (Ufficio Turistico, Corso Vittorio Emanuele 84) you can get a city map. There are also descriptions of these city walks and hiking trails in the surrounding area including the archaeological area of archeological park Selinunte.
- The Thermal baths - Sciacca has the oldest thermal baths of Sicily. Mt. Kronio is famous for the architecture complex of the Hypogeum with its thermal activities of circulating air and vapors. The temperature is approximately stable, at around 38°C, but at times it is as high that the complex is closed. There are five caves:Stufe di San Calogero, Grotta del Lebbroso, Grotta di Mastro, Grotta del Gallo, and Grotta di Cucchiara. The latter is a true labyrinth. If you like caving then this cave is worth a visit. Mt. Kronio (also known as Monte San Calogero) is 7 km from Sciacca.
- Stufe di San Calogero, Monte Kronio. The thermal cave on Monte Kronio.
- Terme di Sciacca, Via Agatocle, 2, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. This complex was built in 1938 and overlooks the sea. A large number of therapeutic treatments are performed under auspices of the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale.
- Piscine Molinelli, Via Marco Polo, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Mid Jun to mid Sep: 09:30-13:00 and 15:00-19:30. It is the largest thermal pool complex of Sicily with three swimming pools and a separate pool for children.
- Stroll around the colorful fishing port.
- Relax on one of the beaches.
Festa della Madonna del Soccorso
One of the main religious festivals of Sciacca is the feast of Madonna del Soccorso, the patroness of the country, which is celebrated on February 2 and August 15. The festival dates back to the seventeenth century as a result of the plague. According a legend, a statue of Mary that was found at sea is carried by fisherman in procession since that time.
Carnevale di Sciacca
The Carnival of Sciacca has an ancient history, which some claim originated in Roman times. More likely it comes from the 17th century when the first people went on street in disguise. Later decorated floats were driven through the narrow streets. Sciacca is a in competition with Acireale on the east coast that has a rich carnival history too. If you are not in a position to come to Sciacca during carnival please consolation to visit the carnival museum:
- Museo del Carnevale di Sciacca, Via Salvatore Allende Contrada Perriera, ☏ . M-F 09:00–13:00 and 15:00–19:00; during Carnival 09:00–20:00. The museum keeps the memory alive of more than 100 years of carnival celebrations in Sciacca. Thumbnails are displayed of floats that once participated in the parade. They are entirely made of ceramic art and painted by local artists. Also on display are ancient costumes and disguises. Scale models of Sciacca monuments are recreated in papier-mâché.
Sciacca is known for its ceramics. Visit a ceramic shop:
As you would expect, Sciacca has some excellent seafood on offer.
- Al Faro, Via al Porto, ☏ . Good basic food, cheap.
- [dead link] Il Grappolo, Via Conzo 9/A, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- Pizzeria Snack House Di Puleo Francesco, Via Alcide De Gasperi, 73 (near Porta Palermo), ☏ .
- Amodeo Michele, Via Puglia, 45, ☏ .
- Bar Oscar S.A.S. Di Milici Leonardo E C., Via Alcide De Gasperi, 45, ☏ .
In Sciacca and vicinity are many hotels, B&Bs and holiday homes.
- Casale Galati, Località Montagna 207, ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Casale Galati is secluded and extremely quiet and peaceful with stunning views of rolling countryside. It is ideally situated for visiting the Greek temples of Agrigento, Selinunte and Segesta. The three independent apartments, Tramontana and Scirocco 80 m² each and Maestrale 45 m², are bright and airy with all modern amenities. Tramontana sleeps six. Scirocco sleeps four. Maestrale sleeps 2+2. Fresh bed linen and towels are supplied weekly.
- Paloma Bianca, Via Figuli 5, +39 0925 25130. Basic, but OK.
- [dead link] Villa Casa Lucchese, ☏ . Contrada Lucchese.
- Macauda Beach Village, c/da S.Giorgio ingresso (SS115 on km. 129,8 N. sn), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. The campsite is open all year. There are accommodations for 2 to 8 persons for rent. The campsite is at sea.
- Make the effort to visit Eraclea Minoa. The ruins aren't as good as others, but the pine forest-backed beach is beautiful.
- Caltabellotta, on a nearby hill is a short and delightful bus ride away.